So You Finally Got Your First Management Job? Now What?


Ten principles every new manager needs to know and use.



Sure, it wasn’t easy for you to become a manager. But having achieved your goal, rest assured you have a lot more work to do to insure your success.

You must always be willing to learn about your strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your staff.

You must be capable of prioritizing objectives and how to achieve them.

And you must lead from the front, not the rear – all while motivating your employees.

Poor communication results in managerial dysfunction and vice versa because a significant number of workers is mistakenly promoted into management.

New managers must try to win as great communicators.

If you haven’t already, you will have to manage several competing demands to achieve your objectives – all without wasting time and resources.

Compromise is often necessary.

Mistakes must be avoided. You must be careful not to throw your weight around in the early days of your job.

It’s important to take adequate time to get to know your employees and to keep an open mind if you’re fortunate enough to get ideas from them.

You must be authentic to help your relationships to be genuine.

Treat everybody with respect. This avoids unnecessary challenges that start with mistrust and pointing fingers by employees.

It also helps keep team members honest and motivated.

Motivation is a key component. So focus on employee engagement. Otherwise you’ll be shocked by their diminishing performance.

Don’t risk becoming a micromanager. Micromanagement is a ramification of ignoring best practices in management.

People who micromanage lose maximum efficiency, productivity and teamwork – in other words, optimal profitability.

Don’t discriminate. Involve every member of your staff when you set goals and priorities. This will help guarantee feedback immediately.

When you delegate, keep in mind the employee’s capabilities.

Be careful with older workers. It can be tough to manage baby boomers. Not because they’re difficult workers. Your learning has just begun in earning respect to get results.

Remember a lot of baby boomers know they have more experience than you; perhaps even in management.

Hold blue-sky sessions – encourage your team to brainstorm.

Money is not the key motivator of employees. Recognition is a powerful motivator. With a solid recognition program, you’ll profit because your workers will constantly perform without close supervision.

There are 10 principles every new manager needs to know for maximum performance.

Infographic courtesy of: www.acuitytraining.co.uk.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Key Differences between Leaders and Managers — There seems to be some confusion in understanding the difference between true leadership and management — particularly, if a manager wants to aspire to leadership in management to enable an organization to become great. The salient distinction between leadership and management: It boils down to how professionals inspire their staffs and other stakeholders.

4 Reasons Why New Managers Fail in Human Resources — Best practices guarantee success for new managers. Not to over-simplify, but here are the four solutions that will help new managers succeed.

25 Strategies to Succeed as a New Manager — Congratulations, new manager. Welcome to a job you’ll find most challenging – and satisfying – if you do it right. You’ll be carefully watched by your staff. You’ll be judged on values demonstrated by your actions. What values will you show your employees?

Profit Drivers – How and Why to Partner with Your Employees — If you want maximum profit, consider partnering with your employees. Here’s expert advice from leading financial consultant Roni Fischer.

HR-Social Media Tips for Best Employee Morale, Culture — Social media affects your company’s culture – probably as much as the employees who engage in water cooler gossip. It’s true. Your company’s reputation is affected internally and externally by social-networking sites.

7 Tactics to Enjoy Your Job Managing Difficult Employees — With a difficult employee, you have two obvious problems – the impacts on your organization and the behavior of the individual. Here’s how to love your job even when managing difficult employees.

Probation Meetings – HR Tactics for New Employee Success — Hiring employees is expensive. So it’s important to use tactics that will help insure success of new workers. That calls for probation meetings. Here are five proven tactics.

“Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”

-John D. Rockefeller


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net

10 Leading Principles for Your Supply Chain Success



Explosives disruptions from weather, commodity shortages, price volatility, and shifts in buying behavior are examples in the challenges of supply chains in the pursuit of profit.

Add to these events, what I’d call is the Amazon effect.

The Amazon effect transcends from business-to- consumer to business-to-business, such as for self-service and instant pricing options that are now expected by customers.

So often dramatically, your supply chain continues to change as the result of innovations in technology in the digital-age economy.

Many changes seem to occur too fast.

All of this has made it challenging to cope with changes in channel structures, customer preferences, and globalization.

But not all challenges are external. For instance, a department computer system might be using technology that’s been recalled.

Only if the department has access to data science will there be enough warning to anticipate and prevent problems.

Speed is another factor. Supply-chain pros have to be able to respond with reliability and correctness across all channels.

Actually, many supply-chain professionals employ tools they believe will work.

But do they effectively deal with their obstacles to protect their operations, stay agile and insulated for performance?

The key is to stay vigilant with alertness to fast-moving trends and to strategize for the best options for your company’s culture and objectives.

If you’re able to do this, you’ll position your supply chain for your company’s long-term sustainability and maximum competitiveness.

But the key is to know how.

Here are 10 leading principles:

1. Leadership

To lead the effort, you must ascertain the best skill sets for the roles, responsibilities and for your culture.

2. Identify core competencies

Establish the best business processes and focus on them. But be ready to outsource the other functions.

3. Coaching

Certainly, education is important. Coach all your supply-chain stakeholders to be on the same page. That includes all departments in your organization and all associations along your supply chain.

4. Scale for competition

Fully monitor your situation – how your company can execute for success and how your competitors work.

5. Evaluate

It’s important to accurately understand all elements in your supply-chain links.

6. Rank according to data

Exploit all the data to classify and select the right targets to enrich your supply-chain capabilities.

7. Solve weak links

To drive performance, you must be alert to the weakest links.

8. Collaborate

To prevent negative surprises, your supply-chain stakeholders must communicate well. Like a stellar media company that reports the news, you must understand the factors involving who, what, when, where and why.

9. Partnerships

You should identify the right partners. Make sure they’re positioned to partner with you for the desired results.

10. Continuous improvement

For supply-chain excellence, you must develop an ongoing process that leads to excellence and performance.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

Supply Chain Management: 6 Tracking and Expediting Tips — With consumers expecting more merchandise at a faster rate, retailers and suppliers are increasingly under pressure. From supplier to manufacturer to retailer and logistics, there are keys to optimal supply-chain management.

Best-Practices in Protecting Your Supply Chain from Natural Disasters — As a manufacturer, you know the importance of protecting your supply chain for your company’s future. So you might be interested in an academic study — lessons from the earthquake that resulted in a tsunamis and nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

How Your Supply Chain Can Make Customers Happy — A company that fails to meet customer expectations on store inventory and delivery has problems in supply chain management. Such a company minimizes its profits. Worse, it’s a red flag about competitiveness and long-term sustainability.

10 Execution Values to Guarantee Your Strategic Plan Works — Many companies devote resources to devise a great strategic plan. But they fail in their objectives because they don’t link their strategy to execution. So here’s how.

10 Strategies for Manufacturers to Increase Profits — When it comes to revenue for capital-equipment manufacturers, the key pivotal factors are innovation and service levels. It might be an obvious conclusion, but it’s confirmed by a white paper.

Winter Security Tips for Your Transport Facility and Drivers — Criminals don’t hibernate like bears in the winter. Winter presents opportunities for criminals’ unscrupulous desires. To protect your products in the warehouse or distribution facilities and drivers on the road in snowy months, there are several important precautions to implement.

“Gentlemen, the officer who doesn’t know his communications and supply as well as his tactics is totally useless.”  

-General George S. Patton


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Solution to Cure Worker Skills Gaps, Underemployment



June 12, 2017-


An innovative solution has been unveiled to solve a big economic conundrum.

The conundrum:

A big schism exists between what employers need in worker skills but millions of people either can’t get a family wage job and or work a full 40-hour work week.

Even though the unemployment rate is a low 4.3 percent, employers complain they have 6 million unfilled jobs because of a huge skills-gap among jobseekers.

In addition, the average American workweek is only 34.4 hours. Underemployment is a chronic problem for Millennials and seasoned workers.

Underemployment exists when a worker has a job, but his or her work hours and/or pay levels are too low.

Forty-six percent of respondents to a 2016 Payscale.com study said they were under-employed. Fifty-one percent of Millennials complained of under-employment in a 2016 Accenture report.

To be sure, lack of education plays an important role. But even college-educated workers are suffering. Many had the wrong majors that won’t lead to good jobs.

A college degree is not a guarantee of career success. Millennials are learning at an early age that they need to be flexible and strategic in their choices.

3 issues for employers

The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of top U.S. companies, reported many jobs go unfilled because workers lack skills needed for the 21st century.

As it is, the roundtable-member companies employ 15 million workers and have $6 trillion in annual revenue.

“As employers, we know that America’s economic growth is directly linked to the skills of today’s workers. Unfortunately, the skills of many job applicants and existing employees have not kept up with the requirements of current and future jobs,” said Wes Bush, Chairman, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman Corporation and Chair of the Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee.

In a press release, the roundtable cited employers’ three challenges:

  1. A lack of individuals with fundamental “employability skills,” such as the ability to use basic math, communicate effectively, read technical manuals, work successfully in teams and participate in complex problem-solving.

Seventy-five percent of responding CEOs indicated that fundamental math, reading and writing skills are important.

Fifty percent of them are having difficulty finding qualified applicants with these skills.

2. A lack of workers who have the specialized skills needed to fill many trade positions.

Forty-four percent of responding CEOs expressed difficulty finding qualified candidates for at least one skilled trade occupation.

3. A lack of applicants with the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills needed for many of today’s jobs.

Cybersecurity, data science, robotics, software and computer science engineers were among the most difficult positions to fill with qualified candidates.

Economic solution

To combat the underemployment issue and to return to 4 percent annual economic growth, the Trump Administration is pushing to create 25 million new jobs.

President Trump is employing a tactic in which he succeeded as a reality TV star and real estate magnate – he’s embarked on a campaign to create apprenticeships.

How?

He is encouraging workforce training partnerships between among companies and schools. That includes programs in which Americans learn skills from seasoned workers while earning a paycheck.

But he’ll do it without spending vast sums of taxpayer dollars. He’s pushing for effective training programs and for the private sector to create apprenticeships.

“The reality is that there are still Americans seeking employment despite low unemployment rates and companies are struggling to fill vacancies that require various levels of skills and training,” said Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and one of his advisors.

She said her father’s administration challenges Congress “to pass reforms expanding apprenticeships and raise awareness about the fact [that] there are important, very viable career paths outside of the traditional four-year college experience.”

Many of the 6 million unfilled jobs are in healthcare, information technology and manufacturing according to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

He indicated less than 0.2 percent of workers have been in apprenticeship programs. However, 90 percent of those who worked as an apprentice got a job at that paid an annual average of $60,000.

Hmm. Really?

The Trump Administration apprenticeship-initiative sounds pretty good. It works for me.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related public policy solutions:

Why President Trump’s Growth Budget, Reforms Matter — Deficit-spending and the resulting massive debt severely damages America’s economic prospects and hurts each American. But a disciplined approach will make America great again — by shrinking the national debt and implementing other needed reforms.

How Bad Policy and Journalists Hinder Economic Prosperity — The nation’s economy will strongly improve if we capitalize on lessons in common-sense economic-growth policies from two late presidents.

Lessons in making a career change

If you need to re-engineer your career, my counsel for you is to ask three questions:

What are your abilities? What do you love to do? What’s keeping you from career success and happiness?

On a personal level, I worked my way through college at various jobs with an emphasis in broadcasting. My goal was broadcast journalism but initially I could only get disc jockey jobs.

After college, I broke into journalism but later faced recessions and corporate downsizing. While being in-between on-air journalism jobs, I found myself working in various industries as a salesperson and worked my way up into management.

My career challenges continued in the 1980s. Having to work outside journalism was embarrassing to me as it was still common for most Americans to work in the same job for decades.

So with the help of mentors, I did some reflection on my career strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Embarrassed by my myriad of experiences in several industries, I continued to work and learned to keep an open mind to consider new opportunities.

After becoming an award-winning and top-rated radio journalist, I became bored and realized I wanted bigger career challenges.

Ultimately, I learned that my skills and interests were in entrepreneurship and strategizing to solve problems. I began to look for new opportunities.

So I pitched an idea to a CBS executive in Los Angeles.

The CBS executive, George Nicholaw, reacted to my resume: “My, what a rich background.”

His comment taught me a very important lesson – to be proud of every one of my career experiences. Meantime, with his surprising compliment, I continued with my presentation and got another big surprise from him.

“That was the best presentation I’ve ever received,” Mr. Nicholaw announced.

“Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it’s business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. If you don’t love what you’re doing and you can’t give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short.”

-Al Lopez


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Unhappy Millennial photo by David Castillo Dominici at www.freedigitalphotos.net 

Why President Trump’s Growth Budget, Reforms Matter


Deficit-spending and the resulting massive debt severely damages America’s economic prospects and hurts each American.


The U.S. Debt Clock

May 31, 2017 –


True, without a new budget and reforms, the stock market soared 13 percent over economic optimism in the months following the election of President Trump.

Investors were heartened by the hopeful promise of his proposed reforms such as ObamaCare, taxes and debt reduction.

But after Congress failed to make significant progress on the president’s proposals, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has stalled around 21,000 points. Investors cite a lack of progress in changing public policies.

So the U.S. still faces grave consequences. Why? Both the federal-government spending and its debt are unsafe.

Obviously, policymakers have not learned from the economic stagnation in Greece where poverty is rampant.

This domestic trend is calamitous because it represents a threat to America’s economic growth.

Without solving the fiscal mess, economic stagnation will get even worse.

So economic growth is unlikely unless major policies are implemented.

Without macro policy changes, the appalling spending and debt will continue to crowd out business and private investment.

Congressional inaction tells investors the U.S. is less likely to have tax reform and is unlikely to pay down the federal debt.

This also has cruel implications for the elderly, poor and middle class. More on that later.

Why did America fall to such economic despair?

President Obama’s dismal record on economic growth – the gross domestic product (GDP) and on debt and deficits — is the worst ever.

Along with President Obama’s record spending, the GDP in his term only averaged about 1 percent.

As a comparison during more prosperous times in the 1980s under President Reagan, GDP was usually 4 percent or higher.

Reasons for economic decline

How did America’s fiscal situation spiral out of control? The nation’s culture deteriorated.

President Obama exasperated economic conditions with his redistribution-of-wealth philosophy.

Entitlement spending exploded under the Obama Administration – programs for food stamps, health-insurance subsidies, unemployment insurance and disability assistance.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”

-Margaret Thatcher

One in six males, aged 25-54, remained jobless. They began thinking it was better not to work because they’d lose redistribution-of-wealth government benefits.

As an example, the Obama Administration extensively aired radio commercials to encourage Americans to apply for food stamps.

In 2007, there 14 million people were on food stamps. But 44 million received food stamps in 2016.

In all, there are now 90 anti-poverty programs, 22 housing assistance programs and 17 food programs.

Climbing debt

Largely as a result of such spending, the nation’s debt jumped more than 85 percent. Over eight years, Mr. Obama’s $9-trillion deficit exceeded red-ink spending of his two predecessors combined.

Most of the government debt is in the form of U.S. Treasury bills, bonds and notes. The money is owed to foreign governments, companies and individuals.

The U.S. Treasury also owes money to Government Account securities – Social Security and other trusts. The federal government has taken money from them to finance agencies and entitlement spending.

The government has benefited from the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates because it’s been able to keep operating. Otherwise, the federal government’s budget deficits would be more noticeable to taxpayers.

Meantime, the low interest rates have been cruel to retirees who can’t earn decent interest on their savings and investments.

And with such economic uncertainty, businesses have been reluctant to invest in equipment and pay family wage salaries.

Thanks to the tepid economy and ObamaCare, business has cut payrolls. The average American work week is only 34.4 hours.

Budget proposals

So it was a breath of fresh air when President Trump’s growth budget was proposed by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

One salient goal of the budget is to encourage Americans to join the nation’s workforce and get off welfare, food stamps and other government-dependency programs.

During the 1990s, the economy and jobs soared after the collaboration between President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

They reformed welfare with tighter eligibility, time limits and requirements to search for work. Countless Americans were happier after getting jobs and leaving government assistance as the economy blossomed.

Democrats and the media claim the Trump budget damages the poor with massive budget cuts.

They continually resort to fear mongering and trumped-up political accusations.

Instead of focusing on economic issues, Democrats oppose every productive measure while trying to promote identity politics.

In reality, however, the proposed budget will enhance America’s economy and while not slashing expenditures.

But the budget certainly slows spending down. Still, federal government spending would annually jump to $5.7 trillion from $4 trillion. Over 10 years that’s a whopping $55 trillion.

During the next 10 years, proposed Medicaid expenditures would increase from $378 billion $524 billion annually.

President Trump has also launched an all-out effort to promote jobs.

Part of which would enhance business expensing in taxes, cut business tax rates and repatriate trillions of dollars that big companies have parked overseas to capitalize on reasonable tax rates.

These are all brilliant proposals.

The misdirected angst of the liberal media, Democrats and genetic-liberal tendencies will continue.

But a disciplined approach will make America great again — by shrinking the national debt and implementing other needed reforms.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related public-policy articles:

Businesses Helped 5 Ways by the American Health Care Act — Passed by the House of Representatives and the bill now goes to the Senate, what will happen to employers by the repeal of ObamaCare? It turns out it will benefit employers in five ways.

How Bad Policy and Journalists Hinder Economic Prosperity — The nation’s economy will strongly improve if we capitalize on lessons in common-sense economic-growth policies from two late presidents.

What Bill Gates Says about Donald Trump Will Surprise You — Mr. Gates astutely observes Mr. Trump was not elected “for specific policies” but for his “kind of leadership.” The tech icon also believes Mr. Trump has a message reminiscent of President John F. Kennedy.

Economy: The High Public Price Tag of Manufacturing Jobs — Donald Trump’s election has prompted a surge in optimism for the economy and stock market, according to authoritative polls. But countless manufacturing workers and their families are on public assistance says a UC Berkeley study. The answers aren’t more entitlements or higher minimum wage. Here are the real solutions.

Analysis: Trump’s Vision to Fix Trade Deficit, Create Jobs — Donald Trump acts positively: Americans are tired of the reign of politically correct terror, the movement for income redistribution, and the massive loss of good-paying jobs.

Avoiding Taxes, Apple’s Irish Strategy Apparently Backfires — The most nonsensical irony in corporate America involves Apple CEO Tim Cook’s tax strategy which has drawn fire from the European Commission. Why? It’s apparently backfiring, and is unpatriotic and shortsighted.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”

-Margaret Thatcher


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Image courtesy Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Management – How to Improve Accountability in Your Company



If business and tepid growth have affected your outlook, take a look at your human resources and consider a couple of questions.

How is your company’s overall productivity? How do you feel about the individual performances of your employees?

If you wince at either of these questions, it’s likely you have reasons to be concerned.

Consider some possible indicators:

– Overall work quality is deteriorating.

– Projects or tasks aren’t being completed on time, nor not at all.

– Teamwork and morale are subpar as it is with poor communication.

– There are many excuses as employees fail to take responsibility or to make corrections.

If it’s any consolation, this is typical. Companies in every sector have these issues – from healthcare providers to law firms.

But you have to be realistic. As a manager, you’re part of the problem for allowing such issues to develop and fester.

There are no easy fixes, but it’s absolutely possible to solve.

Here are the right strategies:

1. Hold yourself accountable

Again, no one can fix these issues but you. Sure, you can bring in an outside participant to coach you and your staff but ultimately you’re the common denominator and problem-solver.

So be a role model. Whatever you expect of your staff, set an example. It’s recommended that you learn the right leadership strategies to earn employee respect.

Never ask anyone to do something you aren’t willing to do. Be transparent as possible, be rigorously honest, and keep your commitments.

2. Pay closer attention to your human capital

Walk the floor. Ask employees questions about their weekend. Listen.

Employees appreciate engagement. They like knowing you care. So regularly engage your employees for business success.

Particularly from productive employees, solicit their ideas for organizational improvement.

Know what they expect from you:

  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Dependability
  • Collaboration
  • Genuineness
  • Appreciation
  • Responsiveness

3. Set benchmarks

Set clear objectives. Develop and implement objective metrics for you and your employees.

To realize your business vision, use best practices for setting goals.

Get each employee to commit to improvement to upholding your goals.

Then, test and measure … test and measure … and test and measure. Explain tactics to employees – what they must do to implement and tactics and to meet goals.

4. Be diligent

Make sure you are careful to avoid errors in evaluations. Naturally, you want to praise good performance and discourage bad.

What are the best ways? Make certain you avoid errors in evaluations.

Start monitoring – have a good antenna. Get busy when the symptoms that lead to poor performance start raising their ugly heads.

Insist on accountability.

Install quality controls, insist deadlines are met and your employees are responsible. Their behavior must align with their personal and the organization’s goals.

5. Disallow excuses

True, there might be good reasons for issues. However, as in any situation or dysfunction, each party is partly to blame.

One person might be just five percent at-fault. Whether it’s failing to fully anticipate obstacles or failing to communicate about faulty equipment, no one person is perfect.

Assertiveness and proactivity are keys to success. Each person must learn to pursue excellence, execute and correct the five percent.

6. Know your job

Your job is not to be the best friend for each of your employees. Your job is to coach, be a mentor and to be the leader.

This includes delegation. Effective employee delegation is a fundamental driver of organizational growth. Managers who are effective in delegation show leadership.

7. Show courage 

Don’t allow mental retirements.

Not everything you do will be appreciated even if it’s the right thing to do. That’s especially true if you’ve allowed dysfunction and suddenly make improvements.

Much has been written about preferred skills for managers.

We always talk in mundane terms for the need of managers to convey a vision, achieve goals and to foster growth and well-being for a work-life balance.

Seldom do we talk about the C-Word, which is a critical characteristic of effective managers.

Don’t worry, be happy – even when the going gets tough.

If you act and feel positive, eventually every employee will come around or leave.

If employees quit after you launch such a program for improvement, you’ll be better off recruiting positive employees who have emotional intelligence.

8. Give recognition

Praise employees when appropriate. When an employee deserves praise, give it. Don’t forget to let their coworkers know about it.

After all, non-financial incentives motivate most employees.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related management tips:

Management — 5 Frequent Causes of Cost Overruns and Failures — Extensive research shows how and why corporate projects result in cost overruns and failures. The academic study is entitled, ‘Yes Men’ Are Killing Corporate Projects. The research reported rampant misreporting of project statuses at all levels of the companies. The errant information is prompted from cultural predispositions to career aspirations.

Optimize Talent Management with 5 Coaching Culture Tips — When managers become coaches, you get a higher-performing workforce. You will have replaced mediocrity with strong performance. Here’s how to develop a coaching culture.

10 Management Attributes for Effective Communication — Communication skills are critical for managers. People with enhanced abilities in communication typically have successful relationships at work and home. Good communicators typically have 10 attributes.

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

Management: How to Help Employees to Grow Professionally — Managers owe it to the organization to help their employees grow professionally, and will benefit from higher employee performance and low turnover.

“Accountability breeds response-ability.”

-Stephen Covey


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Tips for Your Site to Capitalize on SEO Trends


How to stay on top of your search-engine optimization game; plus, a helpful infographic: 16 SEO facts we struggle to understand.



You probably know if your Web site isn’t ranked as the best on search engines, you’re missing opportunities.

Indeed, the top five sites in each niche on the Internet garner 75 percent of the traffic.

That underscores the importance of achieving the best results as the No. 1 site. But to get to No. 1 and stay there is an ongoing task.

Hence, this has heightened the importance of search-engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is one of the most requested topics here on The Biz Coach, as the rules of SEO continue to evolve.

For example:

The rules include on-page optimization and off-page optimization.

On-page optimization requires internal strategies within your site. That includes using the right meta descriptions and keywords.

Off-page optimization results from link-building tactics – from social media to links from other sites.

Bing is not different than Google when it comes to link-building.

It’s vital that you backlink with authoritative, credible sites. Some might be obvious to you, others might not. To avoid issues, take the right steps for safe backlinks to your site.

Increasingly, it’s important to know how to accelerate your site’s download speed.

As you might surmise, create fresh content. But be aware of Google’s priority concerning about frequency vs. value.

For links to specific comprehensive SEO tips, scroll down to the Coach’s Corner.

Meanwhile, for “16 SEO facts we struggle to understand” courtesy of skilled.co, here’s a helpful infographic:

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant SEO tips:

For Strong Local SEO Performance, Avoid 6 Errors — A key strategy to make your cash register ring is to have a strong Internet presence. That means strategizing for strong local search-engine optimization (SEO). With strong local SEO performance, your business will have online top-of-the-mind awareness in your community. You want to be easily discovered by potential customers.

SEO Tips to Rank No.1 on Bing and Google — Study — There are striking similarities with Bing and Google — Web sites for top brands rank the highest and No. 1 sites are dominant because they have quality content, as well as strong social media signals and backlinks.

SEO and Other Strategic Tips for a No.1 Rated Blog — To own your blogging niche, you must understand the evolving process — important basics in search engine optimization (SEO) and other strategies. If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you know success doesn’t keep come automatically. Blogging is arduous work.

4 Best Practices to Enhance Your Google Rank with Content — There are four best practices if you want strong ranking from Google’s search rank algorithms, higher click-through rates and more social sharing from your content and press releases. That’s according to the Ranking Factors Study from Searchmetrics.

Critical Factors Google Uses to Judge Your Content Quality — As you no doubt know, Google has long judged your Web site on content quality. But Google looks for comprehensive information, content that’s easy-to-understand. This means your site probably entices users to stay on your site longer and has higher click-through rates. And you have effective internal links and quick-loading pages with less advertisements.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

-Steve Jobs


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




The Top-10 Most-Profitable Small Business Sectors



Whether you’re a veteran in business looking to acquire multiple revenue streams, wanting to buy a business or whether you’re contemplating a business launch, it’s important to make the right choices to be profitable.

Certainly, in picking a niche, you must find needs and fill them.

You must be able to easily cut through the clutter of competition to enable you to charge what your products or services are worth.

Successfully merging with another business requires similar cultures. Oil and water don’t mix. That’s why many mergers fail.

If you want to buy a business, you should have relevant deep experience.

As any entrepreneur will tell you, successfully launching a business is the toughest endeavor you can imagine. Many startups also fail.

To succeed in any of the above options: Passion, hard work and risk-management are important.

(Strategies to succeed in mergers, buying a company, or launching a business are below in the Coach’s Corner.)

Meantime, you’ll improve your chances if you choose an inexpensive business model to enable you to become profitable quickly.

So the key is to pick the right industry or sector where your odds for success are greater.

What are the most-profitable small-business sectors?

Here are the top 10 in an infographic from Colette Cassidy at All Finance Tax, http://allfinancetax.com/capital-gains-tax-returns/:

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related business strategies:

HR Lessons from Failed Mergers of Canadian Businesses — Only 20 percent of Canadian mergers and acquisitions succeed, according to a survey of finance executives. Here’s why.

Like Creating a Healthy Salad, M&As Need Key Ingredients — Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) might seem simple in small business. But for success in either small or big business, M&As are a complex process. They require the right ingredients much like building a great-tasting, healthy salad.

Buy a Business to Grab Market Share but Study 10 Financials — One of the fastest ways to grow is to buy a competitor or to acquire another business. But you must exercise due diligence in 10 steps.

Finance Checklist for Strategic Planning, Growth — Strategic planning in finance for growth means avoiding trendy fads. Instead, it requires an ongoing down-to-earth approach in order to create value. Here are seven steps.

Why Startup Companies Fail – How to Win — It’s vital to conduct a thorough needs-assessment of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – followed by development and implementation of a strategic action plan. Here’s more.

Startup Financial Planning: How to Get a Pragmatic Forecast — Unless you have a lot of startup experience, it can be a little tricky to make down-to-earth financial projections for your new company. Pragmatic assumptions are important in such a forecast.

Checklist to Increase Your Startup’s Cash Flow — It’s true that cash flow is the salient dynamic that leads to the failure or success of a business. Here are 11 ways to maintain positive cash flow.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

-Zig Ziglar


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Best Strategies to Manage Unpredicted Business Growth



True entrepreneurs are adventurous and bold.

When a company enjoys fast growth, it’s the envy of every other company. However, things aren’t always as they seem.

Fast growth can present difficult challenges for a business, if it isn’t prepared. That goes for any sector – from service businesses to manufacturers.

For instance, rapid growth creates challenges preventing efficient operations or fulfillment of products or services for customers.

If not anticipated and solved, such challenges can lead to drastic losses in market share or even deaths of businesses or being acquired by competitors at fire-sale prices.

The good news is that there are proven strategies that will help a company succeed during unexpected business growth.

Here are the five strategies for success:

1. Flexibility planning for all contingencies

Sure, it’s great to plan for the short-term and to dream for ultimate success. Strategic planning should include needs between the short-term and long-term.

That means developing strategies for flexibility in involving financial, human resource capital, and operational elements of your business. It also requires being prepared for course-correcting.

2. Honing skills for satisfying customers

You will succeed if you keep your customers happy. That’s easier said than done. So, plan for growth in delivering products and services with scalable back-end procedures and structures.

Where startups fall short is not adequate planning to provide the quality products and services in a timely fashion, and all while meeting the expectations of their customers.

Many founders are so busy putting out fires to manage customer demands, they don’t delegate or timely increase the size of their workforce in order to satisfy customers.

What they should be doing is to develop solid operations checklists.

Again, businesses lose profits because they inconvenience customers. This not only results in lost revenue, but tarnished branding and narrower profit margins, too.

So, make certain your company doesn’t become high maintenance to your customers.

3. Financial planning 

Don’t forget your necessary financial tools. Start with a finance checklist for strategic planning for growth.

Just because you might experience new revenue from unexpected growth, it does not necessarily result in good cash flow and profits.

So, at the least it necessitates that you determine your break-even point.

You should know your full operating costs as you grow as well as your daily needs for capital. Plan to increase cash flow and profits.

4. Knowing which customers are profitable

Savvy business owners know who their ideal clients or customers are.

You can’t make profits from every customer. Some customers pay too slowly. Others may be too hard to please. So be prepared to drop such customers.

This, of course, means knowing your four profit drivers – they are what drive your profit.

5. Develop your company’s leadership

Finally, your success will be largely determined by your leadership and team. You will need vision and flexibility to deal with obstacles that evolve from growth.

Whatever your situation in pursuing growth, the mindset and best practices in strategic leadership means maintaining a delicate balance – preparing for details and keeping an open mind regarding business uncertainty.

So, you must have the right mindset and use best practices in strategic leadership.

You will also need to recruit and hire the right people to successfully scale upward. Therefore, hone your talent-recruitment strategies.

Then, plan to develop employees as strong leaders to help your business grow efficiently and enjoy excellent profits. That’s because, as role models, they’ll be instrumental in helping you develop a performance culture.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are complementary strategies:

Strategies to Measure, Boost Your Business Performance — If healthy revenue and profit margins are your goal, you must determine the critical factors that lead to success. In essence, business is war in commerce. In order to win, you must know how, why and when to attack.

For Profits, Manage Your Growth at the Right Pace — Entrepreneurs frequently try to rush their business growth. Certainly, growth is great but if you scale too fast, you’re looking for trouble. The key is to prepare.

8 Change Management Tips for an Unpredictable Marketplace — For a business to win despite facing an unpredictable marketplace, there are eight strategies to implement. Among the key concepts to remember: Double-down on effective management.

Tips for Strategic-Thinking in Finance: Your Staff, Individuals — Many companies want accountants and finance professionals who are strategic thinkers. But that’s not happening at most companies. Here are tips for managers and employees.

10 Red Flags Your Business Needs Strategic Planning — Many entrepreneurs are so busy putting out fires, they fail to take care of business in two ways. They fail to plan strategically and they don’t make marketing a priority each day.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” 

-Warren Buffet


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






19 Best Practices for Writing Professional Business Letters



Knowing how to write an impressive business letter is imperative for maximum career success.

By writing with professionalism, you’re leaving a lasting positive impression and you’re enhancing your chances for strong results.

Here’s how to write a professional business letter:

1. Stationery

Of course, professionals use business letterhead (8 ½ inches by 11 inches).

If you don’t have company or personalized stationary, then you must remember to type your contact information either centered at the top of the page or under your signature.

Top professionals often use their own personalized monarch or executive letterhead (7.25 inches by 10.5 inches).

2. Business-like font and size

Readability is important. So choose a generally accepted business font and size. Typically, Times New Roman or Arial in size 12 is widely accepted.

If you’re writing to a conservative person and business, Times New Roman is best.

3. Plan the components

Plan your letter by writing a list of the details you need to include in your correspondence. This will serve as your checklist so you don’t inadvertently forget something.

Make sure every point is focused — relevant and germane to the topic.

4. Use an economy of words

You’ll increase your odds that your letter will be read and acted upon, if you write succinctly. Avoid unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.

In most cases, a one-page letter is best.

5. Professional wording

Don’t use annoying buzzwords, incorrect idioms, or poor English grammar.

When in doubt for business formality, avoid using contractions.

6. Tone

Without appearing to be servile or gushing, decide whether to compliment the person or company.

Don’t use an arrogant tone; try to be positive. You’ll also convey an unprofessional tone if you write long sentences or write unnecessary sentences.

Avoid using exclamation points. That means no emotional verbiage, especially anger.

Be mindful of your image. When in doubt, try to imagine how your letter would look to readers if your letter were printed in a newspaper article.

7. Addressing the letter

Margin-wise, make sure you send a properly spaced letter.

Depending on the length of the letter, an inch or so under the date on the left, list the recipient’s name.

On the following lines, list the person’s title, company name and then the person’s address.

8. Salutation or greeting

The main thing to remember is to show respect for the person. Below the recipient’s address, double space down to insert a salutation such as “Dear … :” Address the person with formality, “Dear Mr. … “ or “Dear Ms. …”.

If you’ve had a lot of contact with the person and typically refer to the personal by the first name, it’s probably OK to do so in your letter.

9. Block style

For easier reading, it’s preferable to structure the paragraphs aligned to the left with no indentation.

10. Highlight the subject matter

For important letters, it’s best to indicate the subject or purpose. You can abbreviate the word “regarding” with “RE:” above your salutation that contains the person’s name.

Or, you can write the purpose of your letter in the center of the page just above the first paragraph.

“You glance at an e-mail. You give more attention to a real letter.”

-Judith Martin

11. First paragraph

Indicate why you’re writing the letter.

12. Giving criticism 

If the letter is intended to criticize the recipient, be assertive with specificity, not aggressive.

To show objectivity, offer a compliment for what the person or company is doing well. (For examples, see the recommended techniques in How to Get Great Service from Dysfunctional Vendors.)

13. Avoiding starting paragraphs in first-person

To create a professional first impression, your first sentence in every paragraph should avoid using the pronoun “I”.

You want the recipients to know the letter is all about them and what you want to achieve, not about you.

14. Structure your salient points

After writing the purpose, your next two or three paragraphs should contain your main points. Bullet them if necessary.

If you have more than a few, it’s best to indent and number the paragraphs for easier discussion and referencing.

15. Call to action

Be very clear. Whether you’re trying to sell something or wanting to fix a problem, always include a polite call-to-action as a follow-up on your purpose for writing the letter.

While you’re at it in your call-to-action, follow it by preventing buyer’s remorse such as “You will be very pleased … ”

16. Express gratitude

If it’s a sales or solicitation letter or if it’s otherwise appropriate you can express appreciation, such as “Thank you for your consideration.”

17. Closing

For formal letters, use the words Sincerely, Yours truly or Yours sincerely.

If you are on friendly terms and know the person well, you can use Best regards, Cordially or Yours respectfully.

18. Double-check

Proof read the entire letter. Verify you’re spelling names and words correctly. Check the details, any addresses, telephone numbers or e-mail addresses for accuracy.

19. Before mailing, put the letter aside

Re-read your letter and look to see if it needs editing. Be absolutely certain you’re focused in your writing by using an economy of words, a polite tone and call-to-action.

From the Coach’s Corner, for more business-writing tips:

11 Tips to Succeed in Your Career with Effective Writing — Whether you want to write as an author like Mark Twain or to generate content to market your business, effective writing requires two attributes: Dedication and passion. Here’s how to succeed.

25 Best Practices for Better Business Writing — If you want to accelerate your career or turbo-charge your business, one of your priorities should be good communication. Good writing is necessary in a myriad of ways, including letters, advertising copy and presentations. A lack of writing skills will hold you back or even hurt your career.

Spelling Tips to Enhance Your Communication Skills — Good communication skills start with using proper grammar and spelling. They’re central for your career growth. People who communicate stand head and shoulders above their peers.

Are You Struggling to Write Great Cover Letters for a Job? — If you want to write a cover letter that will entice employers to consider you, there are several precautions to take. Otherwise, you risk sending a letter that employers won’t want to read. Here are seven strategies.

Thank You Notes Are Vital After Job Interviews – 12 Best Tips — There’s a common thread among people who win jobs after they interview with decision-makers. Winning applicants promptly send well-written thank you notes. Here’s how …

Business Etiquette Dos and Don’ts – Sending Holiday Cards — One of the best investments for your business relationships is to send holiday cards. It’s an excellent way to stay in touch and to show gratitude in your business relationships. But you must do it right.

“You glance at an e-mail. You give more attention to a real letter.”

-Judith Martin


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






You Will Profit from Content Marketing, If You Teach Well


Here are tips for teaching your readers well — and a great infographic on content marketing — 55 proven ways to help your business.



Many marketers like content marketing because it allows them to get out in front of their competitors. Otherwise, they risk the prospect of potential customers buying from their competition.

Why? Content marketing enables you to help prospective customers see all about your business before you see them.

What’s the secret? The secret to success from your content marketing – you must be great in online teaching and in building trust.

Online readers are looking for good information about answers they seek. That requires understanding about their behavior and empathy for their concerns and aligning them with your products and services.

Unless you want to direct your prospects to Amazon.com, where the lowest price is king, your content marketing should direct to your online or brick-and-mortar site by differentiating your products and services for value and target your objectives whether it’s geographical or age demographic.

For your e-commerce sales, your content marketing should be focused on important digital functions such as driving downloads or add-on options.

Success is aided, in part, by your value proposition or benefit statements to meet value perceptions, which are often subconscious emotionally-speaking.

True, 18 percent of people base their buying decisions solely on price. But unless the sales volume is spectacular, companies rarely survive by slashing prices to attract such undesirable customers.

For the other 82 percent, there are five motivating perceptions you should keep in mind in your content marketing.

The motivating perceptions:

Employees, Spokespersons – 52 percent. The key characteristics are integrity, judgment, friendliness and knowledge. Remember, about 70 percent of your customers will buy elsewhere because they feel they’re being taken for granted by your employees. And customers normally will not tell you why they switched to your competitor.

Image of Company – 15 percent. They are concerned about the image of your company in the community. Cause-related marketing is a big plus in forging a positive image. So is cleanliness and good organization.

Quality of Product or Service Utility – 13 percent. The customer is asking the question – “What will this do for me?”

Convenience –12 percent. Customers like easy accessibility to do business with you. That includes your Web site, telephoning you, and the convenience of patronizing your business.

Price – 8 percent. Price is important, but it’s the least concern among the five value-motivating perceptions.

Consider this infographic from skilled.co:

content_marketing_facts

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related marketing tips:

How to Newsjack for Publicity of Your Content Marketing — Newsjacking – the art and science of obtaining mountains of free media coverage and social-media spin by getting your content injected into late-breaking news stories.

B2B Marketers Like the Economics of Content Marketing — B2B marketers ostensibly get a satisfying return on content marketing because that’s the preferred choice for 82 percent of respondents in a survey. It works fast and it’s cheap.

Earn Profits via Innovation, Relationships and Local Marketing — If your company is struggling as a result of declining profits, at least three factors are responsible: The clutter of competition, management, and ever-expanding and head-scratching list of advertising options.

‘Video Marketing Cheat Sheet’ to Attract Customers — You and I can probably agree on the value of videos in marketing. Videos make it possible for prospects and customers to better visualize your products and services. Right?

Marketing Strategy That Best Defends Your Company Against Competition — What do I mean by the phrase, “A marketing strategy that best defends your company”? Protecting your assets with the right marketing strategy results in the shielding and enhancing of your brand, as well as protecting your customer base.

Outshine Your Competitors with Great Newsletters – 16 Tips — A great newsletter is a terrific tool in your marketing mix. Why? Your prospects and customers have signed up for a subscription. Here’s how to get top-of-mind awareness with your newsletter.

“You have not failed until you quit trying.”

-Gordon B. Hinckley


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 




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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.